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ONE YEAR LATER: 5,000 SUPERMARKETS ACCEPT VISA IN CHECKOUT LANES

ONE YEAR LATER: 5,000 SUPERMARKETS ACCEPT VISA IN CHECKOUT LANES
 SAN FRANCISCO, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Only one year after the introduction of its supermarket program, Visa U.S.A. today announced that more than 5,000 stores are accepting Visa in checkout lanes. The participating supermarkets account for 70 percent of the nation's top 50 supermarket chains.
 The program has been initiated in some or all stores of Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons, Pathmark, Giant Eagle, Lucky Stores, ABCO, Dominick's and other leading supermarket chains. In total, supermarkets participating in the program are located in 48 states and in the nation's 10 largest cities.
 "We are very encouraged by the number of supermarkets that have initiated the program to date," said Armen Khachadourian, vice president of merchant relations for Visa U.S.A. "The feedback we've received from participating stores has been positive, with many indicating that Visa acceptance is an excellent way to offer quick service and convenience to their customers."
 Customers have proven their desire to use Visa. Nearly $981 million was charged to Visa cards in participating supermarkets since the program was launched, a 64 percent increase over the previous year's figures of $600 million. Further, the average ticket price of Visa transactions in these stores has been consistently over $44.
 Visa's supermarket program represents the first comprehensive program of its kind presented by any major card payment system. The program, started in April 1991, features a cooperative marketing package, including advertising and promotional material to stimulate and sustain Visa cardholder usage.
 Khachadourian attributed the success of the supermarket program to the competitive advantages that acceptance of Visa can bring to participating stores. "For many supermarkets, increased customer service is the primary way to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. By accepting Visa, stores can attract new customers and increase customer loyalty by offering consumers a more convenient way to pay than cash and checks. Acceptance of Visa also results in increased incremental sales volume, as well as speedier checkouts and more efficient operations."
 To participate in Visa's program, a supermarket must be a retail store primarily engaged in selling food for home preparation and consumption; offer a complete, full line of food merchandise including self-service groceries, meat, produce, and dairy products; have at least 45 percent of sales from perishables; and accept Visa cards in all checkout lanes that accept checks.
 Visa, with more than 9.5 million acceptance locations and 281 million cards issued, including 142 million in the United States, is the world's largest consumer card payment system.
 -0- 5/4/92
 /CONTACT: Debbe Stern of Visa U.S.A., 415-570-3510/ CO: Visa U.S.A. ST: California IN: REA SU:


MM -- SF003 -- 5864 05/04/92 09:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 4, 1992
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